Sunday, March 22, 2009

You're invited to Jeff McMenemy's pity party!

Today I rolled out of bed to find that the official Progressive Fitchburg car crash correspondent had sent me a hot tip: Sentinel Editor Jeff McMenemy had an accident and was crying about it in editorial form.

Normally, I'm not inclined to make light of someone's car accident. Car accidents suck, and not even the despicable McMenemy deserves to have one.

But then I read the actual editorial, entitled It's time to get dangerous drivers off the road, and any shred of sympathy I might have had evaporated. It's just that bad.

One trait common to most people who have trouble with the real world is that they put too much importance on their own experiences and actions. Show an astrology buff any of the dozens of well-controlled experiments debunking astrology and they'll claim that it's still valid, because it "works for me."

You get the same thing with car accidents. Some delusional people will see a car accident as a sign that the world is out to get them, when they should probably just take it as a sign that cars + icy roads = trouble.

Anyway, let's start the pity party!
I left work at about 7 p.m. on a Thursday night several weeks ago and headed up South Street in Fitchburg. The temperature had risen above freezing that day for the first time in several days and some of the snow had melted.

But as night fell, the temperatures dropped and even a main road like South Street was starting to get icy.

Unfortunately, as it turned out, there were no Department of Public Works trucks in sight.
Here our protagonist is setting up the story. The tale of a young man who unwisely decides to drives on one of the steepest, curviest, slipperiest roads around on a night it was getting icy, before the DPW had a chance to get to it.

Make sure not to interpret this as a sign he was doing something stupid, though. That would ruin the rest of the story. Just pretend that he's an adventurous type, instead of just a guy who doesn't know how to pick the proper route.

Onward, brave adventurer!
I headed up South Street and as I came to a slight turn in the road, I immediately saw a large black truck already about halfway in my lane.

I tried to get closer to the side of the road to avoid him, but because of the snowbanks and the piles of debris from [Sic] ice storm, I had nowhere to go, and in an instant, he crashed into me.

His truck had turned totally sideways when it crashed into my car.

The impact sent my small Subaru crashing first into a snowbank, and then into a pile of debris, before I stopped.
Oh no! Our hero has encountered a setback! A deadly fire-breathing dragon black truck was out of control in front of him! The roads were too narrow to avoid its devious sideways-driving and a crash ensued!

Since our hero was driving a Subaru (apparently known for being tiny), he was bounced around like some sort of bouncy thing. Did his heroic instincts kick in and allow him to pull the Subaru-beast out of its deadly spin?
In those short moments, I felt like the little silver ball inside a pin-ball [Sic] machine [Note from Unicow: the ball inside a pinball machine is known as a "pinball."] and promised myself I would buy a bigger car if I got out of the wreck uninjured.

I now drive a Ford F-150.

I kept waiting to crash into my windshield, part of which had been crushed when my car crashed into the pile of debris, but I had my seatbelt on and walked away without getting hurt.

Unfortunately, my car was not as lucky.

The impact of the other driver's truck hitting my car crushed the driver's side of the car, smashed part of the windshield, smashed the bumper, both headlights and the front passenger side of the car.
Okay, not so much with the heroic pulling out of the spin. But wearing a seatbelt is very sensible! Not heroic, but at least a good idea.

Predictably, the tiny car was lost. Which is why our hero had to replace it with a needlessly-huge penis surrogate. Or maybe he's planning to quit his editor job and take one in construction? Either way, not that heroic.

Plus, he then spends a few boring paragraphs talking about other cars almost hitting him and how he got out of the car (into the snowbank, people!). Okay, fine, we get it. You were in a car accident.

But now he's out of the car, time to be heroic!
I called one of my reporters so he could call the police for me -- I didn't know the direct number and I knew the newsroom did -- so I could get an officer to respond to the scene.

But because I was not hurt, they told him they were too busy to come to the scene and invited me to fill out a police report in the morning.
Umm... wow. That's not heroic. That's not even competent.

Hey, Jeff, I have information! Try not to forget this: The direct number for the police in this situation is 911.

See, that's the number for emergencies. If you call that number instead of forcing one of your employees to call the number they'd call to get an interview or something, then the police come and actually help you. Try that next time!

Of course, since you weren't injured, it's possible that they'll be off attending to people who have bigger problems. But I'm sure you'll be able to cope without turning into a bawling mess, right?

This isn't going so well anymore, but maybe it picks up?
I continued to wait and look around for the other driver, but he was -- as we used to say -- long gone and hard to find.

And it started to dawn on me that the driver had actually crashed into me and likely totaled my car, and then took off.
Oh no! A hit and run! We could be back into heroic excitement, now! Though the heroism is sort of diminished by the hero apparently being extremely slow to notice the world around him. Still, car accidents are scary, so maybe he was busy pissing himself or something. I'd leave that out of the retelling too.

Finally, I saw a police cruiser slowly driving up South Street and I thought he was coming to look for me to file a report, but he instead blocked off the road so a DPW truck could sand it.

Here's a thought: Next time maybe the DPW trucks should start sanding before the accidents happen.
Okay, enough of this hero bullshit. McMenemy has just revealed himself not as a hero, but as a whiny idiot (you knew it was only a matter of time).

Here's a thought: Next time don't drive on slippery unsanded roads, you flaming jackass!

The DPW can't be everywhere at once, and you're the moron that chose to drive on one of the single most hazardous-when-icy streets around, despite it being untreated. If you had waited 15 minutes, or taken another route, maybe you wouldn't have gotten yourself in an accident.

Let the whining continue:
As I was sitting in car [Sic] trying to stay warm and decide what to do next, I started getting angrier at the truck driver who had drove [Sic] into my lane, crashed into my car and then took off.
Umm, do you actually know that he took off? I mean, he was going sideways. On a curve. He probably didn't stop on a dime right after hitting you, so maybe he was in a snowbank around the curve?

Or maybe he did hit-and-run, in which case shame on him! That's a shitty thing to do, but what can you do? Life is shitty sometimes.

Most of us recognize that fact, and try to just deal with whatever shit life throws at us. But most of us don't have editorial columns in which we can cry about how unfair everything is:
What kind of a person drives into another vehicle and takes off?

What kind of a person crashes into a car that is half the size of his vehicle and then isn't even a decent enough human being to stop and see if the other driver is all right?

The hit-and-run wreck literally cost me thousands of dollars because I had just done about $2,000 of work on my car, and I just had to turn around and buy a new one.
Yes, car accidents tend to cost money. Deal with it.

Or, if you're unable to deal with it, maybe you could take your one isolated accident that resulted from driving on an untreated icy road that is treacherous even in a light rain and see it as a sign that everyone but you is a terrible driver.

And if you're really a despicable shitsack of a human being, you can compare your accident in which you were in no way injured to accidents in which people lost their lives. Same thing, right?
The sad fact is that there is an unacceptable level of dangerousness on Massachusetts roads because state officials would rather soak dangerous drivers with high fines and fees, and keep them on the road, than just take their license [Sic] away.

Take the case of Westminster resident Myja Parviainen, who died earlier this year when a Worcester driver speeding the wrong way down Route 495 in Bellingham crashed into her car and killed her.
Then we have a long list of all the shitty things this Waterman guy who killed Parviainen did. To prove that "state officials" hate taking people's licenses away, McMenemy provides the following information:
Waterman lost his license for nearly four months in 2007 after Worcester Police arrested him on charges of driving while intoxicated, according to his driving record.
and ...
The arrest marked Waterman's seventh surchargeable offense in three years, leading to an automatic 60-day license suspension under state law, in addition to his drunken-driving suspension...
Yeah, just look at all those "high fines and fees"! It's terrible! And eventually this horrible driver (who I'm sure totally never got behind the wheel while his license was suspended) killed someone. Which, yes, sucks.

But what does that have to do with McMenemy's stupid little accident in which nobody was hurt? He doesn't even know who was driving the other car. It could have been someone with a spotless driving record who was having a very poorly-timed heart attack for all he knows. Not that it matters when you can just make up your own reality.

Besides Waterman, McMenemy whines for awhile about some other driver who also drove poorly. This is the part of the editorial I like to call the "Jeff is out of ideas and just going to plagiarize some old story from the paper" part. So he does that for awhile, then ends with his coup de grace.
It was only through the grace of God that the driver didn't kill someone when he crashed, and that's apparently what state officials don't understand.

I'm not talking about someone who has a few tickets and got into an accident or two, accidents do happen.

I'm talking about someone with a history of accidents, driving drunk or multiple and excessive speeding.

People like that get way too many chances to stay on the road in Massachusetts, and every day that they get to keep driving, they put all of our lives at risk.
Hear that, state officials? You could have killed Jeff McMenemy! Even though there's no indication that the person who hit him had so much as a parking ticket, we're obviously supposed to think that whoever did it was undoubtedly a repeat offender. Probably an ILLEGAL too (at least that's what some dumbass thinks).

So, what have we learned?

Just a few things:
  1. Don't drive on South St. when it's icy (though most of us already knew this).
  2. The number for the police is 911 (again, most of us knew this).
  3. If your loved one dies in a horrible auto accident, your loss might be fodder for some douchebag who likes driving on icy roads to complain about something stupid.
  4. If you see a guy who looks like the lovechild of Joe McCarthy and a kiwi fruit driving a Ford F150, give him a wide berth.

The moral of the story? Jeff McMenemy is a whiny-ass titty baby.

The end.